Dangerous pitch forces Railways-Punjab match to be stopped

by  Bharath Ramaraj •  Last updated on Wed, Dec 21, 2022, 11:01 PM

The second day of the Ranji Trophy game between Punjab and Railways at Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi had to be called off after the pitch was adjudged as “unfit and dangerous for play”. A new match is set to be played at a pitch next to the one on which the aforementioned game took place and it will now be a two-day affair.

Punjab were tottering at 18 for 4 in their second innings, in front by 30 runs, when on-field umpires Rajeev Godara and K Madanagopal spoke to referee Youraj Singh, followed by a discussion with the two captains – Mandeep Singh of Punjab and Karn Sharma of Railways – before eventually taking the decision to suspend the game. Earlier, Punjab were bundled out for 162 on the back of Adarsh Singh taking a five-for. But Baltej Singh’s six-wicket haul had helped Punjab to claw their way back into the game as Railways were cleaned up for 150.

Railways head coach Nikhil Doru agreed that the pitch wasn’t fit for play. Although he observed that Railways were in a good position but now with the match starting afresh, it could most likely end up in a draw. “Actually, I do agree the pitch was not fit to play from day 1,” he told Cricbuzz. “Our batsmen got injured, Arindam Ghosh got injured, he fractured his finger.

“There was uneven bounce. Some balls were bouncing more than expected… hit on the helmet, hit on the gloves,” he said. “But today was the third innings, I agree the pitch was dangerous, but yesterday also it was dangerous. See, they were 18 for 4, if you see the situation, you’re in a fantastic position. But now it is a fresh start and only two days left, so it will be a draw or no result match. It will be a new match, new toss, everything will be new.”

The umpires and officials will inspect the pitch set to be used for tomorrow’s match before taking a call, even as Doru sounded guarded. “We never know how the new pitch will behave tomorrow. If that also behaves like this, they will abandon the match.”

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